April 2020 (07:01)
In April 2020, scientists at the University of Oxford developed a COVID-19 vaccine. They received funding from the British government with the stipulation that the U.K. would get the first 100 million does. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca agreed to produce it.
May 17, 2020 (02:14)
Oxford and AstraZeneca finalized their global licensing agreement with the first doses going to the U.K. Pre-orders began pouring in from around the world while the vaccine was still in clinical trials. Experts viewed it as the vaccine best suited for global distribution.
July 2020 (01:50)
U.S. President Donald Trump wanted to get a vaccine approved before the election in November. His administration provided funding to AstraZeneca to expand its human trials.
September 8, 2020 (03:53)
The human trials were paused. The pause in the United States was much longer; some believed it was for financial reasons or mismanagement by the Oxford-AstraZeneca team. The pause allowed Pfizer and Moderna to get their vaccines into U.S. trials.
December 15, 2020 (01:14)
Pfizer's vaccine was the first approved and offered in the U.K. but a variant caused a spike in COVID cases. It caused Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to maintain lockdown restrictions despite his promise of lifting them.
December 30, 2020 (00:43)
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved. For Johnson, it was a win because the vaccine was a British version and easier to store than Pfizer.
January 2021 (01:13)
The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine rollouts began in the new year. The U.K.'s vaccination rate was much higher than most European Union countries.
January 22, 2021 (07:41)
Only Pfizer and Moderna were approved in the E.U., but many countries had large pre-orders from AstraZeneca. The company revealed it had supply chain issues and less than half the promised doses would be available. The E.U. was blamed for not signing a contract sooner.
End of January 2021 (07:27)
The U.K. was importing doses from Europe but not exporting any. The U.K. and U.S. blocked exports of vaccines made within their countries. The U.K. began importing doses from Serum Institute of India, who had been supplying India and the World Health Organization.
March 2021 (03:27)
The AstraZeneca vaccine caused severe blood clots for about 40 people throughout Europe. Many countries, including the U.K., added restrictions to its use. This hurt the vaccine's credibility around the world.
May 2021 (01:39)
The India government stopped the export of vaccines from the Serum Institute so they could be used domestically. It limited the number going to the WHO for low-income countries.
June 2021 (05:01)
The WHO did not have enough vaccines for a rollout in much of Africa because of India's ban on exports. The Delta wave hit Africa, which had a less than 3% vaccination rate. There was a vaccine shortage and high-income countries were accused of hoarding.
June 2021 Continued (02:15)
The U.K. used Pfizer and Moderna doses, while stockpiling AstraZeneca. The U.K. claimed Pfizer doses from the WHO's program was meant for low-income countries.
October 2021 (05:32)
India lifted its vaccine export ban. The Omicron variant started with only 7% of Africans vaccinated. The delays and vaccine nationalism caused COVID to continue spreading.
Credits: AstraZeneca: A Vaccine for the World (00:29)
Credits: AstraZeneca: A Vaccine for the World
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